gahetNA in the National Archives

How do indexes work?

What is an index?

An index refers you to the content of a particular archive or record and is therefore similar to an index found at the back of a book. It will often include names of people or geographical locations that appear in the original records. An index is also sometimes referred to as a ‘list of names’. Examples of indexes are lists of names of emigrants to Australia or names of films in film classification reports.

How to search the indexes

The indexes can be searched in various ways:

  • Using the general search function located in the top right-hand corner of every page. Select 'Indexes' in the results.
  • Using the search form on the Indexes overview page. Here you can enter what period you want to search in.
  • Using the search form within a specific index. This form usually offers advanced search options that are specific to the index, such as searching for a person's first name or the name of a ship.

What indexes are there?

On the index overview page, look for a list of the available indexes. New indexes are posted online regularly.

What has happened to the old indexes?

Some of the indexes were previously located on individual themed pages such as ‘Contract Work’ or ‘Arrival’. In the A-Z index you will find these under their old and new names (in Dutch).

What can I do with the results?

The search results from an index are presented in table form. You can sort them by clicking on the title of a column. You can view the details of a result by clicking on a row in the table. This will give you more detailed information, e.g. about a person. Sometimes this information is so detailed that you will not need to consult the original record. In other cases, the information is limited and is intended purely as a reference to the original.

On every detail page there is a reference to the source of the information. Click on this link to go to the description of the record in the Archives section. Here you can see whether there are any scans of the record available online or reserve the record for study in the reading room.

See also the notes on an index for more background information and tips on how to use the information you have found.

Supply your own indexes

If you have made an index of an archive yourself and would like to share it with other users, please contact us. We will take a look at the index and post it on the website if we think it is relevant. We can only accept indexes that cover an entire section of an archive.

gahetNA is a website of the Society for the Nationaal Archief in cooperation with the Nationaal Archief and Spaarnestad Photo.
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